Current Issue
Material Handling Wholesaler Cover
December 2017
Enjoy the December cover story as Dave Baiocchi helps you transition from supplier to strategic partner

Industry News

View Material Handling Wholesaler's profile on LinkedIn



Using “pick up” lines in sales
Art Sobczak
Art Sobczak

I know. That headline piqued my curiosity too.

Actually the one I saw atop a newspaper article was “5 Spiritual Pick Up Lines to Perk Up Your Relationships.”

The article was by syndicated columnist, speaker and board-certified hospital chaplain, Norris Burkes.

The original article dealt with the “how are you today?” question, which typically elicits the robotic answer, “Fine. You?”

It’s a much-debated topic in the phone and sales world since it’s used on more calls than not. Burkes explains that the question does not seek an honest answer. In fact, he says that most people don’t want an honest answer. They just want the trite response and then to move on.

Picks up spirits 
Instead, Burkes suggests spiritual pick up lines that are intended to pick up the spirits of the other person. (And some of you thought this was going in another direction with the pick up lines.)

The lines are actually questions. Great questions in fact. And especially good for us in sales situations. I’m modifying the questions slightly for our purposes, and giving some other suggestions.

1. “What’s new in your world?” 
Burkes says this is his favorite since it usually provokes a story about fun, faith or family.

By modifying it we can get the same result with our customers and prospects.

For example,

“What’s new in your department since we spoke in July?”

“What changes have taken place in the past quarter?”

“What’s new regarding your 2016 Plan?”

And if they respond with, “Oh, not much,” prompt them further with

“Oh, come on, there must be something…”

2. “Tell me about your…” 
Burkes shares a story about his wife, a school teacher, who will say to her young students, “Tell me about your drawing,” instead of “What are you drawing?”

It’s getting people thinking about observations, not conclusions. Brilliant!

Also known as “instructional statements,” I have suggested their use for years. It’s easier for someone to comment on something, than to create it themselves. For example,

“Tell me about how you handle your downtime issues…”

“Describe the process for…”

“Tell me about the last time you had a situation where…”

3. “What’s your plan today?” Or, “What’s your day looking like?” 
This hints that you care, and that you want to help. And it sets up the next two questions.

We could use,

‘“What’s your plan for the rest of the month regarding…?”

“What does your fourth quarter look like as it relates to…?”

4. “How can I help make this a good day for you?” 
Burkes suggests that if you really want to know about a person’s well-being, then you must be willing to help.

These are more general questions, and of course context plays a key role in their effectiveness.

Examples we could use are,

“What can we do as a supplier to help?”

“How can I help you reach those goals?”

“What could we provide you to accomplish that?”

5. “What are you hoping for?” “What are you praying for?” 
The author says that you are accomplishing two things here: You are getting them to examine their greatest needs, and you are entering into a spiritual covenant to help them attain what they want.

While in a business setting, we probably would not ask about their praying, we can adapt it to get similar results.

“What are you hoping most for with this project?”

“What do you want the most regarding the outcome?”

“What, ultimately do you hope to happen as a result?”

These are some great “pick up” questions that can get your prospect/customer to really reveal their innermost needs, pains, problems and desires, therefore helping you to help them.

 

Art Sobczak helps sales pros prospect, sell and service accounts more effectively by using conversationally, non-sales messaging, and without “rejection.” Get a free ebook of 501 telephone sales tips at businessbyphone.com/501-tips-ebook. Email editorial @mhwmag.com to contact Art. 
-End-  


ADVERTISEMENTS